Crockpot Steak

I have made a ton of things in my Crockpot over the years. I have never really tried making steak in it though. As I have stated in an earlier post I am in the middle of moving and I am trying to use up all my groceries prior to my move to make life a little easier. Also with moving cooking in my crockpot allows me to take care of other things while still making a decent dinner.

The ingredients I used were simple, easy and tasty!

Sirloin Steak

Black Pepper

Paprika

Adobo

Garlic Powder

1 can of Rotel Tomatoes with Chile Peppers(medium heat)

I turned the crockpot on at noon, I went to work came home at 6 and was the tenderest steak I ever made.

My kids are not big fans of Rice A Roni, but I like it and well I need to finish up the groceries so I make the Beef Flavor to go with the Steak, It was truly delicious and I would surely make again.

I am sure that you could use whatever cut of steak you like but I used what I had, I had originally bought it to make fajitas. But I guess I never got around to that.

Sometimes I forget that I actually enjoy cooking, Now I need to start taking good pictures of these recipes.

When my husband was alive , he used to call  me Master Mix as no matter how little food we had I always found a way to throw it together and come up with a meal. That was a very long time ago and have gotten into the routine of  the What do you want for dinner game? which I actually don’t like at all. I ask my Daughter, I ask my son they will usually disagree on whatever the other on says and I will get mad and make a pot of pasta, he loves meat sauce, she hates the consistency and only wants pasta with meatballs. Kids they are always going to keep it interesting.

Happy Crockpotting!

Hard to believe this is even me…

I have not written in a while. I have kind of been in a funk. I have a lot of emotions running through me and I am not sure where they will go and what I will be able to do to control the events that will follow.

I have always prided myself on taking care of myself. I have believed that somehow someway things will work out. I have believed that at the last moment something will come through and I will figure it out.

I am wrong. I am 3 -1/2 weeks away from actually being homeless. I have never thought that life would bring me here , but well here I am.

I have worked since I was 13 years old. I was never one to sit on my butt and do nothing, I was always the one who went out and found a way. Now it has been several years since I have had a real job, one I could count on , one that could count on me.

My daughter’s health has a lot to do with it. She is complicated at best, and she requires a ton of medical intervention. Appointments, surgeries, medications, treatments and so on. In addition to that she needs to be a normal kid, school, fun, life activities. I also have my teenage son home still in homeschooling, and my oldest who is on her own now.

I have tons of medical issues myself, I have tummy troubles. both knees need replacing, high blood pressure, weight issues and I have been fighting with depression and anxiety my entire adult life. With all these issues and my daughter’s issues finding work has been near impossible. I have tried at home jobs on the phone but they require mandatory times or good internet or other issues that I am not able to accomplish, not at lack of trying though. I have tried cashier jobs as they are more flexible timing, but standing for long periods of time cause my knee pain to be intolerable.

I have managed to maintain my residence, by living off my daughter’s SSI which is under 700 a month and my ex-husband was paying child support, which he did not do for the first 15 years after divorce, recently he found himself in jail and the checks stopped coming about 2 months ago. This has forced me to not be able to pay the bills at all , therefore rendering us homeless. My Dad has agreed to let us stay with him while we figure it all out, so at least we will be safe and loved, but it does not change the fact that it screws with my emotions. I have reached out to every organization only to be turned away each and every time.

I find it crazy that in a situation such as mine there is no help available. Housing has had a closed list for 8 years with no chance of getting in for at least 5 more years, I did not ask for my daughter to have all these health issues, nor did I ask her Dad to die from brain cancer, The only thing I could have done better was save years ago when I was working. I did not know where life would take me and I was under the impression that I would find a way.

I find myself fighting my depression with the help of medication but all I really want to do is climb in my bed and stay there for ever. I don’t, I get up I take care of my kids, I take care of meds and appointments. When my daughter is hospitalized I stay with her and go back and forth and check on my son. I make jokes and entertain her and all the kids like I am alive, like I am happy like I am not the mess I feel inside.

I don’t know what the near future will hold for us, but I do know that somehow someway I will find a way to not let it get the best of me.

Team Angel- Spinal Fusion

Thanks for the reminder Vater Syndrome!

These are the Before and After X-Rays of my daughter’s spine. Actually they are after and before as the pictures are posted.

Just last week we had her spinal fusion done. It was about a 4 hour procedure, although this is Angel we are talking about so you probably already know it was not really 4 hours. We got to the hospital ahead of time about 5:45 am and the day hospital opens at 6. By 6:20 they are looking for a good spot to put an IV. I explained to them she is a very hard stick. Even though they heard me they really were not listening to me. Not one of the 4 nurses could get a good vein. Don’t get me wrong the nurses found veins. They just did not work from all the scar tissue. The reason I tried telling them she is a hard stick. Eventually the Anesthesiologist Doctor came in and popped one right in an artery. I guess he can do that. At this point she was slightly overwhelmed but she is getting older now and learning to deal with the fact that she can’t stop all the doctors and nurses to come in when they need help. That is overwhelming for Angel she hates that. At home(TGH) they know that, at The Joes as Angel calls it they are learning.

So now the procedure is supposed to start at 7:30 and in fact they do take her back at that time. The nurse told me I will call you once the procedure actually starts and then each hour until it is completed. I was happy with that. I figured I would be less stressed getting the calls. I go back to the waiting area with me son and a gentleman from the hospital approaches me and asks if I would be willing to be part of their pilot program , updated text messages. I thought it was a great idea so I agreed. Now time is passing, My Dad shows up, now we are sitting waiting, my son, my Dad and myself. I am starting to worry why have they not called out yet? What is going on? Finally just after 10 am I get a call from the nurse explaining that the procedure is just now starting as they could not find a spot to put a central line, All of her access spots are shot and they struggled to find one.  It truly breaks my heart as I told them this from jump.

In any event she was comfortable and did not know anything going on as she was already sedated. Each hour or so they called out and each time assured me she was doing great. I also received a few text messages in between so I was super informed. I think the texting is great as it is not as scary as the phone some how or another.

When she first came out of surgery we were fortunate enough to know the recovery nurse. She has known Angel since she was a little baby and was quite familiar with her past health experiences. She recognized right away that her potassium was way too high for a Renal patient and immediately worked to get that reversed. By that evening her lab were almost back to normal. That was a good thing as any stress to Stevie(her transplanted kidney) is scary stuff.

The next two days were spent managing pain , only to wind up having a reaction to one of the IV pain meds so lots of steroids and benadryl and eventually figured out another pain plan. By the third day she was out of the ICU and on the second day of Physical Therapy. By day 5 we made discharge plans and have been continuing to heal at home. Aside from the obvious pain she is doing wonderful.

We are already noticing some differences, such as she is taller, her ribs are no longer sticking out in the front and back making her shirts fit wonky as she says. She said no longer feels the pressure in her lungs she was feeling from the ribs pushing and she is now practicing being straight which is quite different than it feels.

I knew this would be a big surgery, I was not surprised by the amount of blood she needed, or the issues getting the correct plan for pain. I was totally surprised by how quickly she was able to shift herself and put full weight on her legs.

Tomorrow she goes to get her stitches out and speak with the doctor about the amount of pain she is still currently having and the best way to manage it and hopefully get clearance to go back to teleclasses as the more you miss the harder it is to make up in school.

@TeamAngel

BBQ Brisket

I found this picture among my own, although I don’t shred my brisket on a board, so I am guessing this must be from somewhere online I saved for one reason or another. Anyway credit to google I guess.

Yesterday I was heading to Publix , our favorite grocery store. I told my daughter what you you like for dinner tonight. We were thinking Steak Fried Rice. So we went straight for the steaks only to see we were not impressed with any we saw for that meal, however there was this brisket just sitting there, moved from its corrected spot, looking like a lost item that will probably not get purchased. I moved it back to the right area to save that fate only to see there were some very nice pieces that were half the price they were last time I purchased.

Dinner plans changed, BBQ Brisket, which I make in the crockpot so really it should just be pulled brisket with bbq or crockpot brisket, Whatever you want to call it , was delicious.

I started off by browning the meat with a little pepper and garlic, and some onion powder. I then added chopped, red, green, orange bell peppers and chopped onion. Then I added a can of Rotel tomatoes with Chile Peppers. Once the meat was browned to my liking I added it to the crockpot. I put the veggies I added a little bbq sauce and turned it on high. About 4 hours in I turned the meat and added more bbq sauce. Then I let it continue to cook until my son was about to cry I was starving him to death. See he is 17 and quite capable of making his own food but when I make certain meals, he reverts back to that little boy who liked being spoiled a bit. My daughter was patiently waiting but she uses her head. If it is a crockpot meal she knows she is going to smell all day and wait forever to eat. I tell them it is anticipation and they should learn to embrace it, they tell me it is torture…

When the meat is ready I take it out of the crockpot, shred it, remove any fat that I may have missed and add it back to the sauce and if needs anymore flavoring, I attend at that time then I let it simmer it the sauce while I make a quick pot of rice, or yellow rice or in last night’s case it was mac and cheese. I will admit it has been about a year since I have made boxed mac and cheese and I bet it may be 10 years before I buy it again. Totally lost my taste for it, would rather have plain egg noodles or rice with that meal anyway.

Learning to cut back on sodium is something I have been working on for years, as my daughter was on dialysis for 8 years, but I never really cut it out I just cut back and for as little as she eats it always worked but now that she is older and eating more I am truly learning to cut it out where I can, buy lower sodium versions of certain items and use fresh ingredients for flavors as much as possible. You would be amazed the flavor that comes from a chile pepper.

Berry Smoothies

Lately I have been on smoothie kick. My kids and I are trying to change our eating habits. We have gone from much fried food and sweet snacks, baked goods and little debbies, and of course don’t forget the salty chips and stuff, to mostly baked, grilled or in the crock pot meals.

We have reduced sweets to holidays and special occasions, birthdays and such. Just last night I baked a Chocolate cake for my niece for her 8th birthday. Her Dad did not relay to her Mom that I was baking the cake and well then there were too. Not my plan but well hopefully it goes away today as I am having some company this afternoon. An old friend is coming by for a visit. Surely I will be able to pawn at least one piece of cake off on him.

For a while we were using my sisters single cup blender. She loaned it to me as I told her we need to try to find more healthy choices and smoothies are awesome. Well just a few weeks ago I caught an awesome sale. I got a $24.99 blender on sale to 19.95 and then a final reduce to 16.95 plus my 20% off for having the Target Cartwheel app. That was awesome and truthfully I went to the store just for that reason. I had no clue it reduced again down to 16.95 but I was super happy with my choice.

I bought a big bag of frozen mixed berries. I choose the organic, not sure if there was a reason I did that or not, I think it was just the same price same amount so why not. I bought a large container of lowfat vanilla yogurt. I buy Dannon as I like that one the best. Now I take the correct amount of berries out for the three of us, and a few spoons of the yogurt and blend away. Sometimes I add a little juice or more ice if I think the kids will want bigger drinks. But as long as I buy the ones with the berries so far they never go to waste. I really wanted to get the strawberry banana mix but they only had ones with papaya and I know my son does not like papaya so I skipped it. When I go shopping again I hope to be able to buy fresh fruit instead of the frozen and then just add ice. I hope it would come out the same or better? Time will tell

My daughter tells me I should be adding protein and seeds and things I tell her I get enough of that through my diet, but she swears if I do that I won’t want to eat anything else? Not sure about that either.

Well it’s about time, Lisa….

About 1-1/2 years ago I wrote an article about Steroid Psychosis. This is probably the most personal experience I have ever shared here.

Here is a link to it if you would like to read:

https://lisabarriera.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/steroid-psychosis-a-personal-experience/

Time has past since I wrote this article. Just now I am finally making my doctor appointments and looking into helping myself. I have been seeing my Ortho for a long time because of my knees. I have been seeing primary because my Blood Pressure and I have now started seeing Rheumatology  due to the my joint pain and my primary saw something in my blood work that thought needed more attention.

What I did not deal with was my mental. My emotional status. My ability to look at the past of my life and love what was great and let go of what was not. I have made great strides in some areas and horrible in others. I have not been able to force myself to diet, to stay on an exercise routine. Some days I do great and I make efforts and others I can barely just take care of my kids and that is the best I can do.

I listen to other people, they tell me their problems. I hear them, I feel for them and I look at how much is stuff they could have controlled had they really been paying attention. I know for myself, I have let certain things happen. I could have stopped them but it would have changed everything and I was too afraid of the change, did not want to be the butt of more bad decisions, therefore hearing how all my decisions are bad somehow or another really screws with my self esteem.

When I read about that last year of my husbands life, and I read how I was feeling when I wrote that article it makes me feel those emotions all over again.I woke up yesterday, totally disturbed. My mind would not turn off. I was distraught at something that was said about me a long time ago and I thought I put it to smash, yet clearly it is still an open topic of discussion by people who have done nothing but lie and been lied to. Not by me I just went along with it. My husband said it is none of their business(meaning anyone) and he would not tell the truth about things that honestly there was no reason to lie about. Simple things like his brother inviting him over and him saying oh I can’t go because we have to do this or that, when in all reality we just had no gas in the car. He would tell his family that he had money from this or that, rather than no my wife pawned her ring so we could pay the light and buy this birthday present for you. Or even better They gave it to me. Who was they ?(no-one) why would they just give it to you. But funny they never questioned this. He said it, surely it must be true, although they are always the type that even if they do something nice to you they would say don’t tell anyone, I did this.

See if you are always lying, chances are you will believe others are lying too.

I have nothing to lie about. I tell the truth in my writing. I share information that is not anyone’s business yet I feel like sharing it and I do. I don’t deny that my father taught me the value of money, he taught me to invest and all kind of smart things. I heard him but clearly I was not listening. I have managed to be in my 40’s. Not a dime in the bank or anywhere else. No 401K no savings, no retirement plan, and to top it off just about no income. I was taught better, I just did not learn. When my daughter(my youngest) came into this world as sick as she did , I had no idea what the future would hold, and quite honestly income, and savings and money was rarely a thought, only to get through the month with bills and keep the kids happy- or happyish. We did our best. I worked full time he stayed with the kids. With the little one having a million appointments and all it truly worked out of the best. When I lost my full time job everything went hectic for a bit but we figured it out. I got a part time job, he found some apartments to manage part time and we made do. When he passed, all those appointments became mine. My daughter got listed on the transplant list and well if you read some of my other posts you can pretty much see where we are at now.

Finally I have made an appointment with a psychiatrist.

This appointment is way past due as I should not still be so upset about the comments being made. I should still not wake up and see my husband trying to choke me. I should not sleep three hours a night and then struggle for the next 6 with my brain and any combination of emotions until I finally knock back out due to exhaustion, unless we have an appointment and there I will be up again for the day only making the sleepless pattern continue.

I am going to find a way to live with all this pent up emotion. Figure out is it anger, is it depression and anxiety, is it fear that I loved someone so much that seeing him go crazy made me go crazy?I don’t have a clue, could it be everything I see with my daughter. Could it simply be lack of support or what I don’t know but in about 6 more weeks I will be able to start working on that. Good thing I am not suicidal as long as the appointments take to get but what can you do at least with my lack of income , I am getting medical help.

Don’t wait this long , it is to overwhelming.